For several years the Department of Defense and the United States Government have emphasized sexual assault prosecutions. Assigning the most experienced prosecutors to sex crimes cases, fully resourcing the offices assigned to prosecute sex crimes and aggressively pursuing convictions. It is no doubt a laudable goal to combat sexual assault in the military. However, often in the zeal to “do the right thing” the rights of the accused are neglected. Political pressure to pursue sexual assault cases have resulted in questionable tactics and results. It is safer for a command to refer a case to court-martial than it is to not do so, even when the evidence does not support the allegations. If accused of sexual assault the likelihood of a service member being subjected to a very aggressive prosecution despite the quality of the evidence or lack there of is overwhelming. Military sex crimes prosecutions are OFTEN predicated SOLEY upon the statement of the alleged victim. Commands often blindly accept the statements of an alleged victim, with little or no investigation. This is particularly dangerous to the accused. Many sexual assault cases are very complex. Cases OFTEN are not simply matter of determining whether there was a crime or if the alleged victim is lying. Cases VERY OFTEN involve intoxication, conflicting views of consent, and confusing and contradictory recall of events. The accused simply MAY NOT rely upon the prosecution, the command or the investigative service to seek the truth. They are generally more interested in supporting their case then they are in finding the facts. IT IS ABSOLUTLEY IMPERATIVE that service members accused of sex crimes reach out to defense counsel as SOON AS POSSIBLE. The consequences of of conviction can be devastating.
Most sexual misconduct offenses in the military are charged under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The charges vary but they include: Indecent exposure; Wrongful sexual contact; Aggravated sexual contact; Sexual assault; Sexual abuse of a child; and Rape. If convicted of a sexual offense, a military member faces the likelihood of very lengthy confinement and punitive discharge. In addition, a military member convicted in a court-martial of a sex offense will be required to register as a sex offender. Even if acquitted the stigma of merely being tried and accused can be catastrophic. The deck is frankly stacked against the accused. The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act enacted many changes to how the military investigates, prosecutes and sentences sexual assault. This included mandatory minimums.
YOU NEED TO ACT IMMEDIATELY
If you are accused of sexual assault while serving in the military, you must act immediately to protect your rights. You should seek counsel as early as possible. Sexual assault cases can be won and lost before anyone ever walks into a court room. Your attorney needs to be PROACTIVE in Comprehensively investigating the claim; Searching for exonerating evidence; Aggressively contesting the case during the Article 32 hearing; Interviewing Witnesses; Exposing Investigative Bias; Contesting the Validity and Admission of ALL Government Evidence, Preparing you for Trial, and Aggressively Representing you at Trial.
Contact JAG DEFENDERS Today
JAG DEFENDERS has unmatched skill and knowledge to effectively defend military sexual assault allegations. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted sexual assault cases (while on active duty), successfully defended sexual assault cases (while on active duty well as in private practice), and presided over sexual assault cases as a TRIAL AND APPELLATE JUDGE. There simply is no group of attorneys more experienced. We invite you to contact JAG DEFENDERS today for a free consultation.